Thursday, November 25, 2010

Legacy Cruise 2010 - Fiordland

Near the entrance to Milford Sound

After two days of sailing from Sydney across the Tasman Sea, we arrived at Fiordland on Thursday 11 November.

We had been very lucky with the Tasman - it has the reputation of being one of the roughest seas in the world - but we had little to no swell and calm seas the whole way across.

Nigel & Wendy at Milford Sound

The scenery was spectacular in the sounds, as you'd expect.  Unfortunately for us, it was a heavily-overcast day and the cloud base was low, meaning we couldn't see into the mountains most of the time and we missed seeing Mitre Peak.  That's Fiordland for you - it has the heaviest rainfall in the whole country!  There aren't too many days of the year where it doesn't rain there.  But the recent rains meant that the waterfalls were running, which friends who have been there other times have told me were dry when they visited.

 We started out by going into Milford Sound, picking up a pilot and DOC staff member early on.  The Department of Conservation guy gave a commentary all through the day over the PA, so you could hear it throughout the ship - or on tv from your room.

From Milford Sound we went back out into the Tasman Sea - and that's when it "got" me.  By this time we were heading south-west down the west coast of the South Island, and getting closer to the Roaring Forties with every mile, and the tossing and turning of the ship turned my stomach.  I wasn't sick, but sure felt uneasy.  Probably didn't help that we'd gone to our room for a while after Milford Sound, and it was relatively high up in the ship on the 11th (Aloha) deck.

When we went to lunch, I had a bit of fruit while Nigel enjoyed his fare.  Later, after we'd entered the next fiord and in much calmer waters, I was okay again - until we went back out to sea again!

I spent the rest of the day on the Promenade Deck, wrapped up against the cold, in a (very comfortable) deck chair for as long as I could stand the cold, then went inside to the library - in my opinion the best kept secret on the ship.  Being lower down in the ship helped calm my stomach.  The view was good, too!

I was okay by dinner time, when we must have gone further "around the corner" and out of the swells, but the effect lingered for days afterwards in my head.  I've only been seasick once before this in my life, out on the Kaipara Harbour in a dingy, fishing with friends.

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